The recent arrest of four alleged members of the prominent BitTorrent release group IMAGiNE demonstrate that prosecution for criminal copyright infringement can be both unexpected and international in scope. Moreover, there is often much more at stake than the guilt or innocence of the alleged infringer, as in the case of Kim Dotcom and Megaupload, wherein the DOJ's seizure of an online file storage company for copyright infringement raised fundamental questions about the property and privacy rights of any user storing non-infringing data with that company.
In a recent online CLE appearance for Lawline.com, Jeffrey Dine offered a comprehensive discussion of the criminal copyright statute and the corresponding confluence of intellectual property and criminal law. Ever mindful to contextualize the program within the continued evolution of internet technologies, Dine's course is a wealth of information, though his final analysis is revealingly straightforward: "Criminal copyright infringement is a real crime. Don't do it."
In an era where infringers seem seem to operate with the expectation of impunity, his point should be well-taken.
For more information on Mr. Dine's seminar, see the below: